Guide for college students
is understanding the context of a sentence, a statement, a scientific
fact. Literacy does not stop with the recitation of facts, but
allows to convey context to the facts, to understand there whereabouts.
Scientific literacy means applying rules in order to solve problems
and to know which rules to use for solving which problems. Scientific
literacy starts with reading about facts, practicing the rules
of scientific discovery, and learning about the establishment
of facts. For what we call a fact is a relation between objects.
Achieving scientific literacy means to grasp the origin of this
literacy is ever more important in a world dependent on technology
and science, communication and 'making money'. Reading, writing,
and mathematics help us to comprehend and to express our own goals.
To read a sentence is to understand the context it is written
in. To use numbers is to understand the relation among objects
and to see how values of things important to us compare. Literacy
also means to practice, practice, practice what you love.
Reading, Math, Practice
... three steps in
achieving scientific literacy. The first step includes learning
of facts by reading, observing, and listening. This is much
like absorbing information through rote memorization. Rather like
the mechanical learning of rules; letters into words, words into
sentences. Rules can be learned without the relation to contextual
meaning. At this early stage, the rules are the meaning,
but do not reflect context, and thus do not promote true scientific
literacy (see Morris Shamos, The
Myth of Scientific Literacy). Indeed, not to understand the
difference between the meaning of rules and context of a sentence
is not to understand the difference between a dictionary and a poem.
Yet, rules are important. Rules structure an activity and give direction
to a task. Mastering the rules gives a sense of accomplishment.
And acquiring new knowledge simply means using the rules you already
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